Brazil - Rivers, Rainforests & Wildlife

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Day 1: Arrival Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Upon arrival in Iguazu Falls, you are met and transferred to our hotel. Tonight, our group meets for dinner and orientation.
Overnight in Iguazu Falls.

 

Day 2: Iguazu Falls - Argentine side

Iguazu Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is best witnessed from both sides of the river gorge. Today, we travel to Argentina where we view the falls from an up-close (and damp) perspective. Well-maintained walking trails take us above and below the falls for unforgettable views. Walk along raised platforms that take you through the rainforest amid the cooling spray of the falls.
Overnight in Iguazu Falls.

 

Day 3: Iguazu Falls - Brazilian side, fly to Sao Paulo

After a free morning at leisure, we take in the panoramic view from the Brazilian side. Walk along a gently sloping trail that provides a wide perspective of the falls. The trail leads you to an incredible platform that places you amidst the most thunderous cascades at Iguazu. In the evening, we fly to Sao Paulo.
Overnight in Sao Paulo.

 

Day 4: Sao Paulo - Cultural Capital of Brazil

After breakfast, we will explore the cultural capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo. We take a drive down famous Paulista Avenue, see the old financial centre of the city and the municipal market.

After lunch, we will visit the Se Cathedral located right in the Centre of Sao Paulo. In the evening, we will walk through the neighbourhood of Vila Madalena which comes alive at night with its restaurants and night life.
Overnight at Sao Paulo.

 

Day 5: Fly to Campo Grande, To Bonito

We will take a mid-day flight to Campo Grande, the entrance to the Pantanal region. Upon arrival, we will drive to Bonito, an oasis in the middle of Brazil. With its blue water lagoons, beautiful waterfalls, colorful fish and fascinating caves, Bonito is a place to snorkel, explore and learn how and why the water is so blue.

Located in the Serra da Bodoquena (Bodoquena Mountains), this is an area of exceptional beauty in southwestern Mato Grosso do Sul, at the edge of the Pantanal, with its incredible blue rivers, springs and stunning caves.
Overnight at Bonito.

 

Day 6: Blue Lagoon Gratto, Estancia Mimosa

Another early morning as we travel to Gruta do Lago Azul, the Blue Lagoon Grotto. Three hundred meters down from the cave's entrance you arrive at a deep blue water lake of which expert divers have never reached the bottom. No one knows for sure where this water comes from, as the rivers in the region have a greenish color. People believe there is a subterranean river feeding the lake. The sun rays on the water create a spectacle of rare beauty.

We travel to Estancia Mimosa, a private farm where some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region are found. It is possible (and recommended) to enjoy a swim before we have lunch at the farm's main house. The forest beside the falls is home to different species of monkeys and other mammals, where you can often see them playing in the trees.
Overnight in Bonito.

 

Day 7: Sucuri River, Buraco Das Araras, Pousada Aguape, Pantanal

Early in the morning we leave to Rio Sucuri. Spend an unforgettable day at the Sucuri River, observe the transparency of its crystal clear waters, its great diversity of fish and aquatic plants.

After lunch, we drive to Buraco das Araras where visitors can observe the vagaries of nature, hear the call of the birds echoing in the rocky walls that constitute an ideal shelter for red macaws. The Buraco das Araras is a doline, geological formation resulting from the collapse of boulders creating this huge cavity: it is 500m in circumference and 100 meters deep. At the bottom of the hole, a pond of green water surrounded by lush forest, is home to alligators whose survival remains a mystery. Besides alligators and macaws, mammals such as the armadillo, the anteater, the agouti and other 120 species of birds including toucans, have chosen this place to live. We then drive to the Pantanal where we overnight.
Overnight in Pousada Aguape, Pantanal.

 

Days 8 - 9: Wildlife of the Pantanal-the World's Largest Wetland, Pousada Aguape

We can enjoy several activities for the 2 days in the Pantanal. They include the following:

We enjoy a boat ride through the Corricho, a river with hundreds of caimans where we have a chance to fish for the carnivorous Piranha. Piranha fishing is practiced in a bay of the Aquidauana River, which is close to the lodge. Piranhas are mainly used to prepare a typical dish of the region, 'piranha soup'. It is also a good way to see the caimans which watch the fishermen hoping to steal their catch of the day.

We will also journey on a photo safari in a 4x4 open vehicle to explore different landscapes like cerrado (patches of stunted vegetation), open grasslands, vazantes (low-lying areas that are often seasonally flooded), brejos (swamps) and bays which are permanently flooded areas. It is also a perfect tour to see and observe the wildlife of the Pantanal including the immense variety of birds, mammals and reptiles that live in the area. It is possible to see caimans, the capybara, toucans, the giant Anaconda and much more.

At night we leave for a safari to see the nocturnal wildlife that lives in the Pantanal and search for the Brazilian Jaguar. This activity is enjoyed in a 4X4 vehicle or in a boat in order to observe the night animals including anteaters, foxes, capybaras and caimans. We can also hear the haunting sounds of frogs. On a clear night, the Pantanal skies can can be nothing short of mezmerizing.
Overnight in Pousada Aguape, Pantanal.

 

Day 10: Fly to Brasilia

We say good bye to the creatures of the Pantanal and drive to Campo Grande where we will catch our afternoon flight to the unique capital city of Brasilia.
Overnight in Brasilia.

 

Day 11: Exploring Brasilia

Today, we have a full day exploring this unique city. The Brazilian capital is the only city in the world built in the 20th century. It has been awarded the status of Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. There are plenty of reasons for such renown: this young city, inaugurated in 1960, surprises even the most experienced travelers. Brasilia is the result of a modern urban project designed by Lucio Costa. When seen from above, the city's pilot plan resembles the shape of an airplane. Many refer to it as a bird with open wings, although the architect's original urban concept pointed to the shape of a cross, to symbolize possession. The city's project is, up to this day, a world reference when the issue is urban planning.
Overnight in Brasilia.

 

Day 12: Fly to Salvador, Walking Tour

We take a late morning flight to Salvador. After lunch, we take a walking tour of the main sights of the city, Pelourinho. Situated in the historical center, Pelourinho is an important colonial place which is a member of UNESCO and a symbol of the black movement in Bahia. The Pelourinho is home to important churches, museums, Brazilian artists' studios, galleries, shops and restaurants.

The focus is particularly on the Largo do Pelourinho, Santo Antonio do Carmo, Elevador Lacerda (built in 1873 and connects the 'two cities', the upper town to downtown by elevator and is an important local transportation). We can enjoy a panoramic view of the All Saints Bay and Mercado Modelo.
Overnight in Salvador.

 

Day 13: Fly to Manaus

After a free morning to explore Salvador on your own, we depart for our late afternoon flight to Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas and the entry point to the Amazon.
Overnight in Manaus.

 

Day 14: Manaus, Lake Acajatuba

The city of Manaus that was founded in 1669 and was elevated to a town in 1832. The name "Manaus", means "mother of the gods" in tribute to the indigenous nation of Manaus. Manaus was at the center of the Amazon region's rubber boom, a city built deep in the Amazon basin by rubber barons in the late 19th century.

Enjoy some free time in the morning to explore Manaus on your own. In the afternoon, we will travel by boat to visit Acajatuba Lake where we have the opportunity to interact with pink dolphins.
Overnight in Manaus.

 

Days 15 - 16: Manaus City Tour, Amazon River Safari - Anavilhanas Archipelago

Our morning tour includes the river market and the famed Opera House surrounded by Parisian avenues, Italian piazzas and splendid fountains. It was here that Caruso sang and Isadora Duncan danced.

In the afternoon, we board our regional style Amazon riverboat to begin our 3 day/2 night journey on the Amazon River. Our vessel is well adapted to the Amazon region. The Clipper's accommodations include cabins with bunk beds with night time air-conditioning, shower and toilet facilities and is equipped with motorized longboats for excursions.

We begin our journey aboard the Clipper with a presentation from our on board guide as we head for the Ariau River, a tributary of the Rio Negro. Before sunset, we take a longboat trip, returning after dark so we have the possibility of observing nocturnal animals and the changes in the forest as night falls.

The Rio Negro has high levels of tannins in the water, keeping the bug levels to a minimum (a very pleasant surprise for most) so that we can comfortably sit on deck enjoying the lush jungle and even the beautiful sunset.

We wake up in the Janauaca Lake and start our early exploration of the waking forest by canoe, keeping our eyes open for birds and for Pink River Dolphins. We return for breakfast followed by a walk in the forest and a visit to the inhabitants of the lake who live on manioc plantations, fishing, diverse fruit trees, rubber, Brazil-nut trees, wood and other extractive products.

The piranha fishing in late afternoon is not only for passionate anglers as there are good chances of seeing Hoatzins and large flocks of egrets. After dinner, we explore the forest in our canoes with the possibility of observing nocturnal animals and to admire the millions of stars and constellations of the southern hemisphere.
Overnight on board our Amazon Clipper.

 

Day 17: Return to Manaus; fly to Rio

We search for birds and animals one last time as there is a good chance to see the Victoria Regia, the giant water lilies. We travel to the 'meeting of the waters'. The boat cruises down the Negro River navigating along the shore of the City of Manaus, allowing passengers to view the Amazonas Theater, the Port of Manaus and a chance to see real life of the locals with their stilted houses. It is a spectacular merge of the Negro and Solimes Rivers.

From this point on both rivers form the famous Amazon River that runs all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The waters of the two rivers run together for about 12kms, side by side, without mixing. The phenomenon happens due to differences in temperature, density and speed of the waters of the rivers. Continue the trip on the Amazon River to the Island of "Terra Nova" where lunch will be served in a typical restaurant (rustic yet clean restaurant in buffet style, international and regional dishes).

We return to Manaus where our river safari concludes. Following lunch we travel to the airport in Manaus to catch our flight to Rio. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Day 18: Rio - One of the World's Most Beautiful Cities

After breakfast we explore the city which includes a visit to the most important sites of Brazilian History in Rio, including the National Library, Tiradentes Palace, The Portuguese Royal Lecture Room, the Pao Imperial and the panoramic view of the colonial buildings that remains at Uruguaiana Street.

After lunch we will visit Sugar Loaf Mountain. It was at the feet of Urca Hill, that the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded in 1565 by Estacio de Sa. First we travel by modern cable-car from Praia Vermelha to Urca Hill, located at 215 meters of altitude, a point from which you can see all of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Flamengo land filling, Corcovado and the Rio-Niteroi bridge, besides the majestic mountains that protect and embellish the city.

We then ride a second cable car that will take us to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain, at 395 meters, which gives a beautiful and unique perspective - the beach of Copacabana, Santa Cruz Fortress and some beaches of Niteroi. We finish our day with a tour of downtown Rio to see the most beautiful monuments of old Imperial Rio.
Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Day 19: Rio de Janeiro - Corcovado, Tijuca Forest

One of the world's most beautiful cities, Rio sits on the coast against a backdrop of mountains. Its historic buildings, massive squares, beaches, nightlife, and pleasant climate make Rio a perfect place to wind down from our eventful journey.

Today, we travel to Corcovado for a view of the massive statue of Christ that gazes across the bay. Definitely the most famous and enduring image of Rio, a stay in Rio wouldn't be complete without this experience. We also travel to the charming district of Santa Teresa with its cobble stoned hilly streets, old homes, interesting museums and Rio's last surviving tram line.

After lunch we visit the Morrinho Project, a social and cultural project based outside the Pereira da Silva favela (slum) in the Southern Zone of Rio de Janeiro before we end our adventure with our farewell dinner.
Overnight in Rio.

 

Day 20: Rio de Janeiro departure

Our adventure concludes with a transfer to the airport for your journey home.

 
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